Almost 40% of American workers might be able to telecommute, according to some recent studies.
Do you work from home at least one shift a week?
Do you have a home office setup, with a reliable internet connection and the right equipment to get your job done?
If you have a position that is not location-dependent, consider bringing up the discussion about telecommuting, or helping implement it as company policy for your business. Your company can save costs and you can save commute time and energy costs.
When you are working from home, here are some considerations:
1) An environment free of distractions: the ability to focus directly on the work without interruption, at least for part of the time.
2) A reliable and secure connection to your workplace: telecommuters need adequate ways to check in with other office mates, such as through Skype, IRC, or scheduled conference calls.
3) Tools to do the job: plan to have adequate office equipment, computer supplies, or manufacturing supplies necessary for accomplishing the work.
4) A fair and accurate evaluation of how well telecommuting is doing for your business: performance as a telecommuter should be equivalent to if you are working at the office. Note that for many jobs, the number of hours logged does not always correlate with the quality of work.
For evaluations, make sure to track the correct "magic number" — note that this is not always the "8-hour workday."
In fact, the magic number might be the number of satisfied customers, the profit per unit, the visitors per blog post, or some other number.
5) Effective supervision: make sure there is a way for all telecommuting workers to receive support and supervision as needed. Set a specific timeline to achieve deliverables, goals, benchmarks, or outcomes.
Predictions for the 21st century include more mobile work and more flexible life/work arrangements. Get ahead on this trend by doing the research and considering when you'll implement a work-from-home policy for your own company.
Monica S. Flores of believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She creates effective, engaging websites for women-owned companies, green businesses, and progressive organizations: her focus is on organic, holistic, fair trade, and sustainable work.
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